Does Tea Tree Oil Work for Nail Fungus?

Tea tree important oil is pitted in opposition to the antifungal cream lotrimin for the therapy of fungal nail an infection, however what about treating the underlying trigger?

Onychomycosis is a fungal an infection of our nails, normally the toenails, however typically the fingernails. It’s characterised by nail discoloration, deformity, detachment, thickening, crumbling, and ridging. You’ll be able to see an instance of onychomycosis under and at 0:19 in my video Does Tea Tree Oil Work for Nail Fungus?.

The reported prevalence is estimated to be about 1 in each 25 individuals, although it’s extra frequent in older people—one in 5 people over 60 years of age and half of these older than 70 years. Sadly, it’s actually exhausting to deal with. The fungus can cover deep contained in the nail, so it may well stay protected against the blood provide on one facet and any therapy you apply topically on the opposite. Subsequently, “recurrence after therapy is frequent as a result of residual hyphae or spores that weren’t beforehand eradicated” even when you had been in a position to beat again the fungus. Lots of the systemic oral remedies will be poisonous, and “many topical purposes require lengthy therapy programs, which can restrict affected person compliance, particularly in sufferers who need to use nail polish for cosmesis or camouflage” to cowl it up.

Given all the issues with prescription antifungals, there was “a renewed curiosity” in pure treatments. If tea tree oil can have an effect on athlete’s foot and dandruff fungus, what about nail fungus?

A research combining the antifungal drug in Lotrimin cream with tea tree oil appeared fairly efficient. “After 16 weeks, 80% of sufferers utilizing medicated cream had been cured, versus none within the placebo group,” so we all know the drug and tea tree oil had been higher than no therapy, however what about in contrast to one another?

A head-to-head research in contrast tea tree oil with clotrimazole, a standard antifungal drug. In a double-blind, randomized, managed trial, sufferers obtained twice-daily software on the nail of both the drug or pure tea tree oil over a six-month interval. Debridement was carried out each few months, the place a few of the fungal mass was debulked, scraped, or floor off. As you possibly can see under and at 1:56 in my video, after six months, the drug fully worn out the fungus in solely about 1 in each 10 circumstances, however the an infection appeared higher, with partial or full decision of the looks, within the majority of topics both from the physician’s evaluation or the affected person’s personal evaluation. And the tea tree oil? It did simply in addition to the drug! “The 2 preparations had been comparable in efficacy of remedy, medical evaluation, and subjective enchancment. Their value can also be comparable.” “For sufferers needing a ‘pure’ therapy for tinea pedis [athlete’s foot] or onychomycosis [nail fungus], topical tea tree oil is an inexpensive various to prescription or over-the-counter antifungals.”

Talking of pure remedies, how a few really pure therapy? “One potential motive for the poor long-term advantages of any remedy [for nail fungus] is that it could be treating solely a manifestation of underlying illness(s), equivalent to generalized immune suppression or peripheral micro- or macrovascular illness.” Perhaps fungal nail infections are only a manifestation of poor peripheral blood circulation that might usually permit your physique’s pure defenses to maintain the fungus from taking root within the first place.

There was a non-English language research of 400 sufferers that “appeared on the ‘relationship between blood circulation of the pores and skin and the event of fungus illness’ and located a better than 50% discount in blood stream in sufferers with tinea pedis [athlete’s foot] and onychomycosis [nail fungus] as in contrast with sufferers with out these problems.” If fungal nail infections are simply “a symptom of an underlying course of, then therapy aimed toward eradication of a pathogen could also be unrealistic.” No surprise the fungus so typically simply grows proper again. A extra applicable aim could also be to surrender and reside with it. Maintain on, although. If it’s a circulation drawback, why not attempt to enhance the circulation?

We’ve recognized because the Fifties you can successfully swap peripheral artery circulation on and off like a light-weight swap inside days by switching individuals between a low-fat, plant-based weight-reduction plan and the extra standard weight-reduction plan that contributed to the issue within the first place. You’ll be able to see an fascinating graph on this under and at 3:50 in my video.

Fascinated by studying extra about enhancing peripheral circulation? See my video Advantages of Beans for Peripheral Vascular Illness.

What about different fungal infections? Take a look at Does Tea Tree Oil Work for Dandruff and Athlete’s Foot?.


  • Onychomycosis, a fungal an infection of our nails, is characterised by discoloration, deformity, detaching, thickening, crumbling, and ridging, and will have an effect on about 1 in 25 individuals, sometimes older adults.
  • The an infection is troublesome to deal with because the fungus is deep contained in the nail, protected against the blood provide on one facet and any topical therapy utilized on the opposite. As effectively, systemic oral remedies will be poisonous.
  • Combining Lotrimin cream, an antifungal drug, with tea tree oil was efficient in 80 % of sufferers after 16 weeks, in contrast with none within the placebo group.
  • In a head-to-head research of tea tree oil with clotrimazole, a standard antifungal, the 2 preparations had been comparable; sufferers wanting a “pure” therapy for athlete’s foot or nail fungus could contemplate topical tea tree oil over prescription of over-the-counter antifungals.
  • Would possibly there be a relationship between poor circulation and the event of fungal illness? A research discovered a better than 50 % discount in blood stream in sufferers with athlete’s foot and nail fungus.
  • Switching to a low-fat, plant-based weight-reduction plan can enhance peripheral artery circulation, in contrast with a extra standard weight-reduction plan that contributes to the issue.

My different tea tree oil movies embody:

In well being,

Michael Greger, M.D.

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